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Euro 2012 Final: Action Report
by: Jason Logan, special to The Social Gambler
Italy has defied the odds, and a match-fixing scandal hovering over Serie A, to advance to the final of the 2012 European Championship.
With a shocking 2-1 win over tournament favorite Germany in the semifinals, the Azzurri face reigning European and World Cup champ Spain in Sunday’s final.
Heading into the semifinals, oddsmakers projected a Spain-Italy final would have the Italians priced as +300 underdogs over 90 minutes. However, the impressive two-way display versus the Germans convinced books to open Italy as a +275 pup.
“The performance by Italy has definitely swayed the previous opinion of forecasted final prices against Spain, across the industry,” Aron Wattleworth of bet365.com told me. “It was a very good team performance, and very good defending.”
According to Wattleworth, the early betting action on the Euro final has come in on the draw (which opened at +225 over 90 minutes and is now at +210) and the Azzurri, who have since moved from +160 to win outright to +150 heading into the weekend. Spain is currently set at +120 over 90 minutes and -175 to lift the trophy.
“I think as game day gets closer, the Spain money will definitely pick up,” says Wattleworth. “But the value, as is often the case in these knockout games, is the draw. Hence, the early money on it at slightly bigger prices.”
As for the lengthy list of props and alternative wagers for the Euro 2012 final, early money is gravitating towards the “Method of victory” prop. The most popular plays are Spain in extra time (+1,100), Spain on penalties (+1,000), Italy in extra time (+1,400), Italy on penalties (+1,000).
Also garnering the attention of Euro prop bettors are the “First Goalscorer” odds. Italian hero Mario Balotelli (+700), who netted both goals in the win over Germany, is attracting the most action. He’s drawing even more attention with the “Score Anytime” prop at +275.
Oddsmakers could find themselves paying out multiple prices on the tournament’s top goalscorer if no goals are scored in the final. Balotelli is among five players with three goals for the tournament, while Spain’s Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres, and Cesc Fábregas all enter the final with two goals each.